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Cyprus

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Area: 5888268 km2
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Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $98,902,965.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $12,296,041.00 - [12%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $17,489,517.00 - [18%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $1,036,573.00 - [1%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $9,296,671.00 - [9%]
  • Water Scarcity: $42,300,336.00 - [43%]
  • Water Management: $16,483,828.00 - [17%]

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

No challenges found.

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES A water balance cannot be easily calculated for the government-controlled area of Cyprus. A water balance for the whole island, however, indicates 900 million m3/year of renewable water resources. Surface runoff is estimated at about 830 million m3/year. The natural aquifer recharge is estimated at 300 million m3, of which about 70 million m3 flows to the sea and 100 million m3 emerges from springs. There are 14 main rivers, none of which provides perennial flow. The source of water for these rivers originates in the Troodos mountains. The main groundwater aquifers are the Western Mesaoria (Morphou), Kokkinochoria (south-eastern and eastern Mesaoria) and Akrotiri. Smaller aquifers exist in other parts of the country. In 1995, total dam capacity reached 299 million m3 on the whole island, up from 6 million m3 in 1961 and 64 million m3 in 1974. New dams for storing water for irrigation are planned, particularly in Paphos province in the southwestern part of the island. Additional dams are also planned for Lefkosia province in the centre of the island, but a substantial quantity of this water will be diverted for domestic and industrial use and to compensate for the loss of water recharge downstream of the dams. Currently, some 40 million m3 of wastewater is produced annually on the whole island. Only 16 million m3 of this amount is treated, mainly in Leflkosia province, where the city of Nicosia is located. Nicosia has a city-wide sewage processing plant, part of which is not under government control. About 11 million m3 is reused for irrigation purposes, mainly in the part of the island that is not under government control around the mentioned city. Only 1 million m3/year is reused for the irrigation of hotel gardens and recreation areas in the government-controlled area. There are also other sewage plants in use, such as that located in Limassol or in Larnaca. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 9,251km2. Like other countries in the Mediterranean region, Cyprus has a semi-arid climate and limited water resources. The island’s state forests cover about 18 per cent of its surface and are mainly confined to the Troodos mountain range in the central part of the island and the Pentadaktylos mountain range in the northern part. The conservation of the island’s forests has multiple objectives, such as the conservation of biological diversity, the protection of the soil against erosion, the control of floods and the protection of water resources. The Troodos mountain range is of particularly high ecological significance, not only because it contains rich plant and avian diversity, but also because it feeds most river basins and aquifers of the island, with maximum precipitation of 1,000mm/year. Eighty per cent of surface runoff in Cyprus is generated by the Troodos mountains. Due to the rainfall conditions, surface water is confined to only a few months a year (MANRE, 2004).

1.1.2.WATER USE In 1993, total water withdrawal in the government-controlled area was 211 million m3, of which 74 per cent was for agricultural purposes, including both irrigation (70.6 per cent) and livestock (3.3 per cent). Water withdrawal for domestic and industrial use in 1993 was 23.7 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively. The trend in recent years, which is likely to continue in the future, has been that increasing quantities of water are used for domestic water supplies at the expense of agriculture. This has been necessary in view of an increasing standard of living, an expansion of tourist services, and industrialization. Considering the whole island, 70 million m3 of groundwater flows to the sea yearly and 270 million m3 is either pumped out or emerges from springs, leading to total extraction from the aquifers of 340 million m3/year. As the annual recharge has been estimated at 300 million m3, there could be up to 40 million m3/year of excess pumping over natural recharge. As a result, the total area of Cyprus is experiencing a gradual decline in groundwater yield, a lowering of the water table and, in certain cases, sea water intrusion. According to MANRE (2004), the two main water-consuming sectors in Cyprus are irrigated agriculture and domestic use. Agriculture accounts for about 70 per cent of total water use, while the domestic sector accounts for 20 per cent. Other sectors include tourism (5 per cent), industry (1 per cent), and amenities (5 per cent). Today the total water demand in Cyprus amounts to 265.9 million m3 annually. It is estimated that, by 2020, water demand in Cyprus will increase to 313.7 million m3, mainly as a result of a rise in the use of domestic water and tourism development (Water Development Department and FAO, 2002). This presents many challenges for water management and conservation in Cyprus. There is increasing concern regarding the effective and efficient utilization of water for agriculture and water conservation in general (Chimonidou et al, 2009). The promotion of effective water use and on-farm water management were identified as important contributions to the management strategy (Chimonides, 1995) needed to address problems of water scarcity and promote the practice of intensive agriculture on environmentally sound grounds. Improving water use efficiency at farm level would be a major factor in increasing food production and reversing the degradation of the environment (Papadopoulos, 1996). The overall target is to maximize the positive impacts of irrigation and minimize potential environmental hazards (Chimonidou, D. et al, 2009). The interaction between agricultural production and the environment should be complementary rather than competitive for the balanced development of both. In scheduling irrigation it is important to identify the critical periods during which plant water stress has the Country Overview - Cyprus most pronounced effect on growth and yield of crops, since this is directly related to the nutrients required by the crop (Chimonidou, 1996). The government decided to improve the situation by creating and strengthening, through the provision of personnel and equipment, the Water Use Section of the Department of Agriculture in 1960 and by implementing the Water Use Improvement Project in 1965 and Water Supply (Special Measures) Law No. 35 of 1965 (Chimonidou, D. et al, 2009). With the creation of the Agricultural Research Institute in 1965, experiments were carried out concering basic concepts of soil-waterplant relationships (Chimonides, 1995). According to Chimonidou et al (2009), the percentages of water demand for permanent and annual crops are 59 per cent and 41 per cent respectively. Of 351km2 of irrigated crops, 191km2 are temporary crops and 160km2 permanent crops. The main irrigated temporary crops are vegetable and melons (27.6 per cent), followed by fodder crops (12.8 per cent) and cereals (11.4 per cent). The main irrigated permanent crops are citrus (15.3 per cent), fresh fruit (10.2 per cent), olives and carobs (9.4 per cent) and vines (7.1 per cent) (Agricultural Statistics, 2002). A percentage of the annual amount of water used for irrigation purposes is provided by government irrigation schemes. In these schemes, the sources of water used are surface water, groundwater and reclaimed water. As a rule, water demand in the non-government schemes is satisfied by groundwater (Chimonidou et al, 2009). Although the capacity of all Cyprus’ main dams is 273.6 million m3, the average annual amount of water available for use is estimated to be about 112.5 million m3. Of the 112.5 million m3, 93 million m3 is used by government projects, 14.5 million m3 for domestic use (after treatment) and 5 million m3 for ecological areas (Chimonidou et al, 2009). During the dry year of 2005, the contribution to irrigation of all dams was 63 million m3 while in 2006 it was only 39.5 million m3. Today the situation is problematic, as the stored capacity of the dams is only 13.5 million m3 (August 2008) (Chimonidou et al, 2009). Groundwater extraction is estimated to be about 127.4 million m3 annually (this figure does not represent the safe yield of the aquifers, which is much lower). Of this amount, 100.4 million m3 is used for agriculture (26 million m3 within government irrigation schemes and 74.4 million m3 outside) (Chimonidou et al, 2009). Springs contribute very little, amounting to 3.5 million m3 per year, mainly for domestic use in the mountainous villages. At present, desalination units contribute up to 33.5 million m3 per year. Presently, only about 3.5 million m3 is used, of which 2 million m3 is for agriculture and the rest for landscape irrigation (Chimonidou et al, 2009).

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Waterlogging, soil salinization and vector-borne diseases are not present in Cyprus. Contamination of groundwater, especially with fertilizers (particularly nitrates) in certain areas of the island where agriculture is intensively practiced, does, however, occur and is a cause of concern. There is also the problem of seawater intrusion in the main coastal aquifers. This situation requires close monitoring. One of the main water quality problems in Cyprus is water salinization owing to a combination of seawater intrusion, natural saline waters and anthropogenic sources such as agricultural return flows enriched with nitrates, pesticides and insecticide residues from agricultural activities (Socratous, 2000).

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Organizations in Cyprus


To be the leading 24/7 beverage partner Learn More

Somos una organización social, ONGs, Fundación Privada, especializada en realización, diseño, planificación, ejecución, puesta en marcha y control de Proyectos Multivariable, Proyectos de Producción e Inversión social en las áreas de agro-desarrollos y comercialización de alimentos, trabajando esforzadamente para la … Learn More

Projects in Cyprus


CONNECTING is a project that will establish the EU as a global leader for climate resilience, collaborative processes, and innovation for Nature Based Solutions by drawing on the experiences from three selected front-running cities in this project: Genk (Belgium), Glasgow … Learn More

CRISI-ADAPT II aims to monitor and improve the adaptation planning through a real-time implementation and validation according to near and seasonal range forecast of climate risks.​ Therefore, the specific objectives are:​ Identify climate-related problems in strategic sectors and critical infrastructures. … Learn More

This project aims to improve the knowledge of the population of the Mediterranean monk seal at the eastern Mediterranean, monitoring their populations, contributing to the identification of critical habitat and creating or impulse conservation actions that would mitigate the negative … Learn More

The Posidonia littoral zone (Posidonia-beach-dune system) is a valuable natural asset affected by a variety of impacts and pressures. Drifting vegetation of Posidonia forming banquettes along the beaches is a common feature of many coasts. However, residues of seagrass Posidonia … Learn More

The WaterBee Smart Irrigation Demonstration Action is the follow-on phase from the very successful FP7-SME-007-1 WaterBee “Research for SMEs” project (222440) that ended in September 2010, and very convincingly researched, developed &amp; proved the concept of the WaterBee Prototype to … Learn More

Suggested Resources

View the full list of 300+ resources at the Water Stewardship Toolbox

CAIR-CA has put together the following guide to some of the resources for workers who have been impacted by COVID-19. Learn More

With special attention to resources for utilities, this page lists relevant guidance around water and COVID-19. Learn More

Developers: American Water Works Association

This page seeks to help water sector professionals keep informed on the attributions of the COVID-19 virus and any measures needed to protect both workers and public health, in general. Learn More

In this policy brief the ILO offers comprehensive and integrated recommendations on the key areas of policy action that should form part of that response.The brief is addressed at ILO constituents (governments, employers and workers), policy-makers and the general public. Learn More

In this Nature feature, Johan Rockstrom and co-authors argue that identifying and quantifying planetary boundaries that must not be transgressed could help prevent human activities from causing unacceptable environmental change. Learn More

Inform and strengthen your company’s water management strategies and allow your investors to evaluate current water management activities against detailed definitions of leading practice. Learn More

Developers: Ceres

Nature-based solution (NBS) can improve degraded ecosystems, help sequester carbon, and manage the effects of climate change, including extreme weather events. Businesses are beginning to recognize the value of NBS for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

Developed by a group of leading beverage businesses, this is an easy-to-use excel tool for beverage facilities to estimate direct costs associated with their most water- and resource- intensive processes, beyond just the cost of water from the tap. The … Learn More

An emphasis on gaps in WASH coverage and what role institutions play in battling COVID-19. Links and other resources provided. Learn More

Plan, Prepare and Respond- Breakdown for different industries on how to operate safely. Cleaning and disinfecting, Worker Safety, Support Resources, Mitigation Strategy Learn More

This report presents analysis of the response data from a sample of 783 of the world’s largest publicly listed companies. The report is aimed at companies and investors seeking to understand how they can play their part in delivering a … Learn More

The Toolbox connects your business to the latest tools, guidance, case studies, datasets, and more most relevant to you based on your circumstances and interests. It features more than 250+ resources from dozens of organizations and is updated every week. Learn More

Developers: CEO Water Mandate, Pacific Institute

This document is intended for WASH and C4D officers at country offices working together on the Covid19 outbreak preparedness and response. The document contains guidance on reviewing existing resources and coordination mechanisms, identifying the right intervention and considerations for sustainability … Learn More

Workers in office buildings may be at risk for exposure to the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Office building employers, building owners and managers, and building operations specialists can take steps to create a safe and healthy workplace … Learn More

How to ensure the safety of your occupants and building water system and devices Learn More

The campaigns, which target audiences at home and in schools, promote improved health and hygiene practices, such as handwashing, the importance of connecting to the water supply and sanitation system, regular payments for service continuity, and improving sanitation and menstrual … Learn More

Constantly updated database for California nonprofits. Contains Advocacy and support links, funding opportunities, Federal resources and information, announcements and resources, employee and employer resources, and resources for individuals. Learn More

Technical guidance, WASH preparedness, webinars, checklists for health facilities, self assessments, and guidance on disinfectants. Learn More

The purpose of these guidelines is to highlight additional measures so that the integrity of the food chain is maintained, and that adequate and safe food supplies are available for consumers. Learn More

Includes Immediate steps, ongoing health measures that can be taken, and responsible business practice Learn More

Based on the major combat guidelines set by the São Paulo State Government, Sabesp is fully engaged to endure COVID-19 pandemic within its operation area, which means 374 municipalities located throughout São Paulo state and home to about 28 million … Learn More

Developers: Sabesp

Checklist for restoring water quality in buildings left unused for a long duration. Learn More

Developers: EPA Office of Wastewater Management

CDC/EPA Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Includes Printable Materials Learn More

Best practices- Resources- Webinars on WASH/COVID-19 topics. Learn More

NBS offer a promising contribution on how to enhance the availability and quality of water for productive purposes and human consumption, while preserving ecosystems. In this discussion paper, 21 case studies of water management processes are analysed, using a non-representative … Learn More

FAO has been emphasizing the need to accelerate a global transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems, advocating an integrated approach. This document focuses on the management of water for agricultural use. Learn More

The purpose of this document is to provide ministries (e.g. Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Water (MOW)), sub-national public health authorities, and implementing partners with a practical framework of action to both prepare for and mitigate community transmission of … Learn More

This document gives advice on: 1. Simple ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace 2. How to manage COVID-19 risks when organizing meetings &amp; events 3. Things to consider when you and your employees travel 4. Getting … Learn More

The Global Water Footprint Assessment Standard can be used to provide comparable quantification and robust analytics, helping corporations, governments, and researchers manage water resources and achieve greater water sustainability. Learn More

This guide outlines why and how investors engage on agricultural supply chain water risk. Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Committee designed this document to guide the food industry and advise its sponsoring agencies in the implementation of HACCP systems. Learn More

In this link, you will find an overview of our measures and initiatives to support the health and livelihood of employees and communities in which we operate. Our three guiding principles: Health, safety, and trust of our people Safeguard the … Learn More

Developers: Heineken

Om Prasad Gautam, Khairul Islam, and Erik Harvey discuss the importance of handwashing with soap and water in reducing the risk of infection from COVID-19 and highlight the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector can and should do in response to … Learn More

Adapting to climate change, coupled with the need to address aging infrastructure, population growth, and degraded ecosystems, requires significant investment in natural and built water systems. These investments present a significant opportunity to support not only water, but to provide … Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

To help our partners in responding to this health crisis in their countries, we have compiled different resources and tools around COVID-19 and WASH, which include documents, videos, social media materials with messages on public health, webinar recordings, etc. Learn More

Resources for the Long Beach community. Covers topics such as: Movement Strategy, Family Resource Government Resources Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

National Register Resources: Psychological resources and information. Learn More

OSHA has developed this interim guidance to help prevent worker exposure to SARS-CoV-2. The general guidance below applies to all U.S. workers and employers. Learn More

With private enterprises playing a critical role in contributing to the safety of their staff, it is important to change some of their core operations. This guide is meant as a stepping point to begin reopening with safety as a … Learn More

During an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current outbreak of COVID-19, small business owners must prepare for disruption in their business as well as prepare to protect their employees’ health and safety in the workplace. These steps are recommended … Learn More

Guidelines for supply chain workplaces to reopen with a robust WASH plan of action. Learn More

This report shows how putting nature to work can help deliver infrastructure services with greater impact and lower cost, all the while reducing risks from disaster, boosting water security and enhancing climate resilience. Learn More

The Coca-Cola Company is quantifying the water-related “Replenish” benefits derived through its Community Water Partnership (CWP) projects. The work described in this report builds on previous efforts, and provides a current status of quantification results for three categories of CWP … Learn More

Developers: Global Environment Technology Foundation (GETF), The Coca-Cola Company

Questions\ guidelines relating to food businesses answered by the WHO. Learn More

This guidance is intended for all Americans, whether you own a business, run a school, or want to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your home. Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

SAVEh is the platform through which Ambev shares its water management system free of charge with other companies, which has helped to reduce more than 40% of the company’s water consumption in the last 13 years. This water efficiency tool … Learn More

Developers: Ambev S/A

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Compass Business Tools inventory maps existing business tools against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It allows you to explore commonly used business tools that may be useful when assessing your organization’s impact on the SDGs. Learn More

The Colorado River Basin states face significant water challenges, including the overallocation of water, long-term drought, and climate change. This report, commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation, explores the potential for corporate water stewardship to help solve these challenges. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The City of Austin, Texas is facing an increasingly uncertain water future, from decreasing water supplies and more intense droughts to periodic flooding and water quality impairments. Austin is addressing these challenges head on, from investments in water efficiency and … Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The world’s water resources are under increasing pressure from rising water consumption, pollution, and climate variability. The variety of water challenges companies face, from water governance issues to extreme events like drought, manifest in the river basins where the companies … Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

This report is a call to action, for the immediate health response required to suppress transmission of the virus to end the pandemic, and to tackle the many social and economic dimensions of this crisis. It is, above all, a … Learn More

The Soil &amp; Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is a small watershed to river basin-scale model used to simulate the quality and quantity of surface and ground water and predict the environmental impact of land use, land management practices and climate … Learn More

In response to the challenge of quantifying the business benefits, WaterAid, Diageo, GAP Inc., and Unilever have worked with PwC and ODI to develop a practical, step-by-step guide. The guide will help companies understand the business value of their WASH … Learn More

Developers: WaterAid

The Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) Standard for Sustainable Rice Cultivation is the world’s first voluntary sustainability standard for rice. The standard is complemented by a set of 12 quantitative performance indicators. By identifying “hotspots,” the indicators enable users to monitor … Learn More

The Forest Stewardship Council created the Principles of Forest Stewardship as a worldwide standard to promote environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. Learn More

The AWS Standard is a globally-applicable framework for major water users to understand their water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable water management within a catchment context. Learn More

Developers: Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS)

This paper provides examples of how to make progress in service delivery in and beyond the workplace. With private enterprises playing a critical role in contributing to the safety of their staff, it is important to change some of their … Learn More

This tool is an interactive map linking nature-based solutions to climate change adaptation outcomes based on a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

A deep dive into three areas for business action:1 Responsible Marketing 2 Accelerating Collaborative Action at the Country Level 3 Building Resilience and Good Practice Solutions for Business Learn More

This report explores the possibilities of scaling a circular economy, given the reality of the global economy and the complexity of multi-tier supply chains. Learn More

Developers: World Economic Forum

This page brings together water and sanitation-related information from UN-Water Members and Partners in the light of the coronavirus global emergency. UN-Water is working to ensure the most up-to-date information, resources, and guidance as they become available. Learn More

As the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, the United Nations Global Compact is calling on business leaders everywhere to unite to support workers, communities, and companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A coordinated international plan involving the business sector will … Learn More

Water is the lifeblood of California, providing for the household needs of 40 million people and supporting one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, various commercial and industrial activities, and the health and viability of the state’s … Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

New figures from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP) indicate that WASH services in health care facilities are sub-standard in every region. Learn More

Developers: UNICEF The United Nations Children's Fund

ILO Sectoral Policies and Governance and Tripartism Departments present four self-training modules, which adapt existing ILO training tools on OSH to provide governments, workers and employers with the necessary skills to implement the general principles contained in relevant ILO instruments. … Learn More

Companies are increasingly setting and pursing ‘water balance targets’ as part of their water stewardship strategies. The seeming simplicity of balance goals can be attractive – “we will restore a volume of water equal to the amount our business consumes.” … Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

To combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus and rebuild our economies during and after the pandemic, collective action on water is essential. Such action can help not only to contain the virus, but also to realize the human right … Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

Safely managed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services are an essential part of preventing and protecting human health during infectious disease outbreaks, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Learn More

CTCN; UNEP Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Water Witness International; WaterAid; WBCSD Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UNEP Learn More

IPIECA Learn More

Ceres Learn More

Ecolab Learn More

PRI; WWF Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Pegasys; Water Witness International; WWF Learn More

The World Bank Learn More

UNEP-DHI Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UN Water Learn More

OECD Learn More

UNICEF; WHO Learn More

River Threat Netwrok Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; WWF Learn More

Swedish Textile Water Initiative Learn More

Alliance for Water Stewardship Learn More

WaterAid Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

McKinsey Learn More

Toilet Board Coalition Learn More

Conservation International Learn More

U.S. General Services Administration Learn More

National Drought Mitigation Center Learn More

UNEP Learn More

USGS Learn More

UN Water Learn More

AT&T; EDF; Global Environmental Management Institute (GEMI) Learn More

OECD Learn More

SAI Platform Learn More

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